Animal Health Branch

Sherman Oaks, CA, United States

Animal Health Branch

Sherman Oaks, CA, United States
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Mainali C.,Animal Health Branch | Houston I.,Animal Health Branch
Avian Diseases | Year: 2017

The distribution, composition, and management characteristics of small "backyard" poultry flocks may have important implications in the spread of both avian diseases and zoonoses of public health concern. Although the prevalence of small poultry flocks has increased in Alberta, Canada, in recent years, there is minimal demographic information available for these populations. To gain initial epidemiologic insight into this growing population and potential areas of risk, a survey was conducted to characterize the sector. Information on flock demographics and bird health, as well as production and biosecurity practices, were gathered and analyzed from 206 surveys, representing respondents from 43 counties. These results revealed great diversity of both owners and flocks, characterized by wide variations in flock sizes and composition. Laying hens were the most commonly reported type of bird (93.4%), followed by ducks and geese (35.3%), turkeys, (33.8%), and broiler chickens (33.1%). Notably, 58.1% of owners reported having more than one type of bird in their flock, with many owners never, or only sometimes, separating flocks based on species or purpose. Personal consumption (81.8%) and sale of eggs (48.2%) were the most frequently cited purposes for owning a flock. Our findings suggest that owners in Alberta are predominantly new to production; most (73.1%) have kept birds for less than 5 yr and 25.6% for less than 1 yr. Flock health parameters revealed inconsistent use of medical interventions, such as vaccinations, treatments, and veterinary consultation. Data on the sourcing, housing, and movement of birds, as well as movement of people and visitors, reveal substantial potential for contact to occur directly and indirectly between flocks and humans. Additionally, basic husbandry and biosecurity practices were found to be inconsistent and often inadequate, highlighting important gaps and opportunities to improve the health of Alberta's small poultry flocks and mitigate risks to public health. These quantitative and qualitative results provide a baseline characterization of the sector and identify risks and challenges that may serve to inform the development and delivery of future study and interventions.


Kinde H.,California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System CAHFS | Goodluck H.A.,California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System CAHFS | Pitesky M.,Cooperative Extension | Friend T.D.,MCM Poultry Farm | And 2 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2015

Single swabs (cultured individually) are currently used in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official method for sampling the environment of commercial laying hens for the detection of Salmonella enterica ssp. serovar Enteritidis (Salmonella Enteritidis). The FDA has also granted provisional acceptance of the National Poultry Improvement Plan's (NPIP) Salmonella isolation and identification methodology for samples taken from table-egg layer flock environments. The NPIP method, as with the FDA method, requires single-swab culturing for the environmental sampling of laying houses for Salmonella Enteritidis. The FDA culture protocol requires a multistep culture enrichment broth, and it is more labor intensive than the NPIP culture protocol, which requires a single enrichment broth. The main objective of this study was to compare the FDA single-swab culturing protocol with that of the NPIP culturing protocol but using a four-swab pool scheme. Single and multilaboratory testing of replicate manure drag swab sets (n = 525 and 672, respectively) collected from a Salmonella Enteritidis-free commercial poultry flock was performed by artificially contaminating swabs with either Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 4, 8, or 13a at one of two inoculation levels: low, x¯ =2.5 CFU (range 2.5-2.7), or medium, x¯ =10.0 CFU (range 7.5-12). For each replicate, a single swab (inoculated), sets of two swabs (one inoculated and one uninoculated), and sets of four swabs (one inoculated and three uninoculated), testing was conducted using the FDA or NPIP culture method. For swabs inoculated with phage type 8, the NPIP method was more efficient (P < 0.05) for all swab sets at both inoculation levels than the reference method. The single swabs in the NPIP method were significantly (P < 0.05) better than four-pool swabs in detecting Salmonella Enteritidis at the lower inoculation level. In the collaborative study (n = 13 labs) using Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 13a inoculated swabs, there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) between the FDA method (single swabs) and the pooled NPIP method (four-pool swabs). The study concludes that the pooled NPIP method is not significantly different from the FDA method for the detection of Salmonella Enteritidis in drag swabs in commercial poultry laying houses. Consequently based on the FDA's Salmonella Enteritidis rule for equivalency of different methods, the pooled NPIP method should be considered equivalent. Furthermore, the pooled NPIP method was more efficient and cost effective. © 2015 American Association of Avian Pathologists.


Pitesky M.,Animal Health Branch | Cataline K.,University of California at Davis | Crossley B.,University of California at Davis | Poulos M.,Animal Health Branch | And 13 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2013

In December of 2008 very virulent infectious bursal disease virus (vvIBDV) was identified in a commercial flock in northern California. Since then several other backyard and commercial facilities in California have had flocks affected by the same strain and other unique (previously unseen) strains of IBDV. Previous to this incident, very virulent infectious bursal disease (vvIBD) had never been identified in North America. Following the initial outbreak in 2008, California became the first state to undertake a voluntary surveillance effort to try to determine the geographical prevalence of vvIBD based on sequencing of a portion of the segment A region of the vvIBDV genome. To date we have complete geographical information on approximately 500 separate accessions representing approximately 1500 birds from over 200 commercial (∼85% of the facilities) and backyard facilities (∼15% of the facilities) throughout the state. Sequencing of targeted regions of both the segment A and segment B regions of the genome has revealed three distinct types of IBDV in California chickens. One type is genetically and in pathogenically consistent with vvIBDV. The second and third types only have a segment A region consistent with vvIBDV. Geographic information system mapping coupled with spatial-temporal cluster analysis identified significant spatial and time-space clustering; however, no temporal clustering was noted. The lack of temporal clustering coupled with negative vvIBDV results in tested avian wildlife implies that avian wildlife in California do not currently appear to play a significant role in vvIBDV transmission. In the voluntary surveillance that was done in the Central Valley of California, which has a high density of commercial poultry, no positive farms were found when 142 of 504 farms were sampled. Given this level of sampling, the confidence (probability) of detecting an affected commercial flock was calculated to be between 28% and 81% depending on whether one or five hypothetically affected farms were affected. © American Association of Avian Pathologists.


Aly S.S.,University of California at Davis | Anderson R.J.,Animal Health Branch | Adaska J.M.,California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory | Jiang J.,University of California at Davis | Gardner I.A.,University of California at Davis
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2010

The association between Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) and milk production was estimated on 2 California dairies using longitudinal data from 5,926 cows. Both study herds had moderate MAP seroprevalence, housed cows in freestalls, and had Johne's disease control programs. Cow MAP status was determined using both serum ELISA and fecal culture results from cows tested at dry-off and from whole-herd tests. Potential confounders were evaluated based on a causal diagram. Mixed models with 2 functions (splines) for days in milk (DIM) representing milk production pre- and postpeak used in similar studies were further modified to use each cow's observed DIM at peak and lactation length. Cows that were seropositive produced 2.5. kg less 4% fat-corrected milk (FCM) per day than their seronegative herdmates. In addition, cows that were fecal-culture positive by liquid culture and confirmed by PCR produced 2.2. kg less 4% FCM per day than their fecal-culture negative herdmates. The decrease in milk production in MAP test-positive compared with test-negative cows started in the second lactation. A switch in MAP status in either ELISA or fecal culture results from positive to negative had no significant association with milk production. Modified DIM functions that used the observed DIM at peak had better model fit than another function that assumed a fixed peak at 60 DIM. Cows that tested positive for MAP on serum ELISA or fecal culture produced less milk than cows that tested negative, and the association between MAP and milk production was not confounded by mastitis, elevated somatic cell counts, or uterine or metabolic cow conditions. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.


Aly S.S.,University of California at Davis | Aly S.S.,University of California at Los Angeles | Gardner I.A.,University of California at Los Angeles | Gardner I.A.,University of California at Davis | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2015

The objective of this cohort study was to evaluate whether rearing dairy heifers at different premises than the dairy of origin (off-site) reduced the risk of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infection more effectively than rearing on the dairy of origin (on-site). From 2003 to 2005, 3 cohorts of Jersey heifers were born on a single California dairy, with heifers in the first cohort raised on-site until first calving (n. = 797); heifers in the second cohort raised on-site until approximately 5. mo of age and off-site until about 1 to 2. mo precalving (n. = 791); and heifers in the third cohort raised off-site from d 1 until about 1 to 2. mo before first calving (n. = 797). Cohorts were sequentially enrolled, and heifers were followed until death, culling, or up to 6 yr of age. Heifers were tested annually for MAP infection by serum ELISA and bacterial culture of feces, from lactation 1 until they were 6 yr old, and all mortality and culling events were recorded. Compared with cohort 1, cohort 3 had lower hazards of seroconverting and shedding of MAP in feces, approximately 70 and 38%, respectively. Cohort 2 was not significantly different from cohort 1 for the same outcomes. Mortality hazards were only significantly different between cohorts before first calving, with calves raised completely off-site at lower risk than the remaining 2 cohorts. Additionally, the hazards for culling in cohorts 2 and 3 were only significantly different from cohort 1 after the first calving. To our knowledge, the current study is the first cohort study to evaluate the association between off-site heifer rearing and risk of MAP infection, mortality, and culling. Rearing heifer calves off-site, away from infected adult dairy cows, may have allowed for reduced exposure to MAP in the environment of the calves and, hence, served as a control strategy for Johne's disease. © 2015 American Dairy Science Association.


Pybus M.J.,Environment Canada | Pybus M.J.,University of Alberta | Ravi M.,Animal Health Branch | Pollock C.,Animal Health Branch
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2014

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) virus serotype 2 was identified by reverse-transcription (RT)-PCR in a whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) found dead in southern Alberta in September 2013. Field observations indicate at least 50 deer, primarily white-tailed deer, and three pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) died during a suspected localized EHD outbreak. © Wildlife Disease Association 2014.


PubMed | E CAHFS, C MCM Poultry Farm, Animal Health Branch, A California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System CAHFS and B Cooperative Extension
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Avian diseases | Year: 2015

Single swabs (cultured individually) are currently used in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official method for sampling the environment of commercial laying hens for the detection of Salmonella enterica ssp. serovar Enteritidis (Salmonella Enteritidis). The FDA has also granted provisional acceptance of the National Poultry Improvement Plans (NPIP) Salmonella isolation and identification methodology for samples taken from table-egg layer flock environments. The NPIP method, as with the FDA method, requires single-swab culturing for the environmental sampling of laying houses for Salmonella Enteritidis. The FDA culture protocol requires a multistep culture enrichment broth, and it is more labor intensive than the NPIP culture protocol, which requires a single enrichment broth. The main objective of this study was to compare the FDA single-swab culturing protocol with that of the NPIP culturing protocol but using a four-swab pool scheme. Single and multi-laboratory testing of replicate manure drag swab sets (n = 525 and 672, respectively) collected from a Salmonella Enteritidis-free commercial poultry flock was performed by artificially contaminating swabs with either Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 4, 8, or 13a at one of two inoculation levels: low, x =2.5 CFU (range 2.5-2.7), or medium, x =10.0 CFU (range 7.5-12). For each replicate, a single swab (inoculated), sets of two swabs (one inoculated and one uninoculated), and sets of four swabs (one inoculated and three uninoculated), testing was conducted using the FDA or NPIP culture method. For swabs inoculated with phage type 8, the NPIP method was more efficient (P < 0.05) for all swab sets at both inoculation levels than the reference method. The single swabs in the NPIP method were significantly (P < 0.05) better than four-pool swabs in detecting Salmonella Enteritidis at the lower inoculation level. In the collaborative study (n = 13 labs) using Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 13a inoculated swabs, there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) between the FDA method (single swabs) and the pooled NPIP method (four-pool swabs). The study concludes that the pooled NPIP method is not significantly different from the FDA method for the detection of Salmonella Enteritidis in drag swabs in commercial poultry laying houses. Consequently based on the FDAs Salmonella Enteritidis rule for equivalency of different methods, the pooled NPIP method should be considered equivalent. Furthermore, the pooled NPIP method was more efficient and cost effective.


Pitesky M.,Animal Health Branch | Charlton B.,California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System | Bland M.,Cutler Veterinary Associates International | Rolfe D.,Animal Health Branch
Avian Diseases | Year: 2013

Between July 2007 and December 2011, 2660 environmental drag swab samples were collected in total from California layer flocks on behalf of the California Egg Quality Assurance Program (CEQAP), the egg safety rule (21 CFR Parts 16 and 118) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or both. The samples were processed by the California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab, and positive or negative results for Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE) were recorded. This study retrospectively compares the differences between the FDA and CEQAP programs with respect to their SE environmental sampling surveillance results. To accomplish this comparison, two different CEQAP (new and old) data sets representing different SE environmental surveillance approaches in the life of the flock were compared against each other and against the FDA's SE environmental testing plan. Significant differences were noted between the CEQAP and FDA programs with respect to the prevalence of SE in the farm environment. Analyses of the prevalence of SE at different stages in the flock's life cycle (chick papers, preproduction, midproduction, postmolt, and premarket) found the highest prevalence of SE in premarket (11.9%), followed by postmolt (3.5%) and midproduction (3.4%), and there was a tie between chick papers and preproduction (2.1%). To assess the main effects of the presence of SE in the farm environment, backwards binary logistic regression was used. Of six independent variables examined (age of flock, year, season, owner, CEQAP membership, and analysis of pooled samples vs.. individual swabs), only age of flock, owner, and year were determined to be significant factors in the final model. Although CEQAP membership and pooling vs. individuals swabs were not included in the final model, Pearson chi-square tests did show significantly higher odds of SE for non-CEQAP member farms and higher odds of SE in pooled samples vs.. individual swabs. © American Association of Avian Pathologists.

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